Presenting The Top 7 Beaches Of Saint Augustine And The Surrounding Area

More than 500 years ago, Ponce de Leon spotted beaches so inviting it drew him in and led to the first documented European discovery of Florida.

And today, with 42 miles of beaches, you can discover a perfect day on Florida’s Historic Coast no matter what your pleasure. Saint Augustine has some of the most beautiful, friendly and family-oriented beaches you’ll find anywhere on the East coast. If you are looking for endless summer, you just found it.

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The Matanzas Inlet is an equal parts combination of pirate cove, nature preserve, jet ski and boating paradise, and tropical island fantasy. Even the water down here displays the bright blues and teals of tropical ocean water. This is an absolutely amazing place.

Driving On Beach: No

Vilano Beach A popular beach destination since Henry Flagler’s millionaire friends of the late 1800s enjoyed it. Tucked away in this charming little beach town you’ll find shopping, fun eateries and beach cottages to rent. Coquina sands along with a near shore break make it popular with surfers and kite boarders.

Driving On Beach: Yes

Anastasia State Park White quartz sand beckons beachgoers atone of Florida’s most popular parks. The northern three miles are for beach walkers only and most signs of civilization are hidden away well beyond the dunes.

Driving On Beach: Yes

St. Augustine Beach Everything is here for the ideal beach vacation—sunny accommodations, tropical seaside restaurants, a beachfront park with an impressive fishing pier, pavilion, splash park and sand volleyball. Plus, a decidedly laidback attitude. This is a great beach for families, and has a wide variety of restaurants to choose from.

Driving On Beach: Yes

Butler Beach Once one of the few designated African-American beaches in Florida, the end of segregation opened it to everyone. Today, the area is a mixture of private homes and condos, but many public-access points make it easily reachable. Showers and restrooms are available.

Driving On Beach: Yes

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Crescent Beach Located on Anastasia Island, this beach is so named because the shoreline has a natural crescent moon shape. Miles of broad, white sand are an irresistible appeal among beach-goers. This particular stretch of beach is one of the most scenic and unspoiled in the area, perfect for eco-tourists and beachcombers. The sand feels as soft as velvet on your feet.

Driving On Beach: Yes

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Ponte Vedra Beach Elegant resorts along with challenging golf courses line the shore of this serene beach. Mickler’s Landing (pronounced mike-lers) is a popular access point for visitors. The beaches at GTM Reserve feature a historical marker, a life-size statue of Ponce de Leon and a dune overlook platform that includes interpretive panels describing Ponce’s 1513 journey when he sighted land at this very spot. You can rent horses and ride right on the beach.

Driving On Beach: No

Situated along the Atlantic Ocean, St. Augustine’s pristine beaches stretch from Vilano Beach north of the city to Crescent Beach in the south. With dozens of public beach access points peppered along the coastline, there is a bit of something for everyone.

From horseback riding, sunbathing and stand-up paddle boarding to fishing, diving and volleyball, the endless miles of white, sandy beaches have made St. Augustine a go-to destination for water lovers and beachgoers.

Starting in the north, just a five-minute drive from the historic downtown area, is Vilano Beach. Often considered a local best-kept secret for beach combing, Vilano offers several access points including Usina and North Beach, secluded locales south of Ponte Vedra Beach.

Vilano Beach in 30 from CycleHere Media on Vimeo.

The area’s main beach is Vilano Beach, which features a fishing pier, waterfront restaurants, town center, pavilion, boardwalk and shops. Also check out Surfside Park for picnic shelters, outdoor showers and Porpoise Point, a popular beach launch for kayaks and personal watercraft.

Located on Anastasia Island, and just a few minutes south of the City’s historic Bridge of Lions, is Anastasia State Park. Between four miles of pristine beach, a tidal salt marsh, protected bird sanctuary and upland hammock, the park is a clear favorite among tourists and locals alike for canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing and rest and relaxation.

If you’re looking for a more vibrant beach scene, then head further south to St. Augustine Beach. Anchored by the St. Johns County Ocean Pier, the main part of the beach offers amenities like a Splash Park for the kids, shaded pavilion for picnicking, volleyball courts, pier fishing and bait shop.

In close proximity to a wide variety of restaurants and shops is St. Augustine Beach’s “A Street” access where cars can drive on the beach and park for a nominal fee between March 1 and Labor Day. A Street also offers public parking with outdoor showers and restrooms.

Didn’t bring a car on your St. Augustine vacation? No worries. The Old Town Trolley Tour, the city’s premier tour company, has a Beach Bus, which will drop you off just feet from the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.

If you’re looking for another less-crowded local favorite, then head further south to Crescent Beach. Located in the southern area of St. Johns County, Crescent Beach is a wildlife refuge offering a serene, natural setting for beachcombers including boating, fishing, diving and RV and camping facilities.

Live and love your time on the beaches of St. Augustine; but remember a few safety tips. No alcohol or glass is allowed on the beach, all pets must be on a leash and, most importantly, the local beaches are home to several federally protected sea turtles that return every year to nest from May 1 to October 31.

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